Foreclosure Lawsuits Nearly Double Over Prior Quarter

Foreclosure Lawsuits Nearly Double Over Prior Quarter-Image via Wikipedia

The final three months of 2010 were very litigious for mortgage servicers. Legal actions against servicers help push the Mortgage Litigation Index up 42 percent as foreclosure cases heated up and actions associated with loan modifications tripled.

The report indicates that 151 mortgage-related lawsuits had case activity reported between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 by Mortgage Daily, a dominant source of news for the mortgage industry. Activity leapt from just 106 three months earlier according to the index, which was prepared in conjunction with Patton Boggs LLP, a known leader in mortgage banking litigation.

Servicing litigation surged to 26 cases from five in the third quarter. Servicing was busier because foreclosure lawsuits nearly doubled the prior quarter’s activity and modification activity climbed 208 percent.

Another active area was investor lawsuits, which doubled from the third quarter. Behind the rise was a similar increase in litigation associated with mortgage-backed securities. Secondary marketing litigation nearly doubled, while cases involving criminal defendants rose considerably.

“The affirmative inquiries of state attorneys general, legislators and courts in the mortgage assignment and mortgage foreclosure processes have fostered an environment where mortgage-related litigation has expanded on all fronts,” says Antony Laura, a partner in the firm’s Newark office. “While the increase in servicing cases is stark, the increase in suits by investors alleging missteps in the origination and securitization process is especially worth noting, as hundreds of millions of dollars are often at stake in those loan portfolio repurchase cases.”

This chart shows a snapshot of the report’s findings:

Category Q4 2010 Q3 2010 Q4 2009
Total 151 106 134
Investor 46 23 18
Foreclosure 40 21 17
Modifications 37 12 61
Criminal 26 17 11
Servicing 26 5 6

Read the full report at:

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About Patton Boggs LLP

Based in Washington DC, Patton Boggs LLP is a national leader in public policy and regulatory, litigation and business law, and is well known for its deep bipartisan roots in the national political arena. The firm’s core practice areas are Public Policy and Regulatory, Litigation, Business and Intellectual Property. For more information, visit us at


Founded in 1998, is a dominant source of mortgage news and analysis for the mortgage industry.

Melissa A. Green